Promoting a novel can be difficult, but even more so for new authors. Readers truly have a huge influence on helping an unknown author become known. Thankfully, technology allows for a writer to get their work noticed.
1) Buy the book
The best way to support a new author is to buy their book. The higher the number of sales, the more people hear about the book. Authors get a certain percentage of each sale, and many writers depend on these sales as their sole income or as a means to support their passion.
A lot of consumers don't like to buy books, because they usually don't read them again. I get that. I'm the same way, unless it's one of my all time favorites. However, let's relate it to films. You spend at least $10 to see a movie in the theatre or anywhere from $1-$6 to rent one, yet you'll probably never watch it again. Why not do the same for books? Besides, buying a book is usually cheaper than going to the movies, and reading a book lasts longer.
2) Rate and review
Amazon ranks books based on sales and ratings. In order for an unknown author to get their work recognized, they have to move up in the rankings. E-reader devices make it easy for you to rate, because it pops up when you've finished the book. If you read via print copy, then you can get online and use Amazon and/or Goodreads to rate.
Writing a review takes more time, but this really makes others want to read the book. People want to know what they're getting themselves into before investing time or money in an author they've never heard of. While we're on the subject of reviews, authors appreciate honesty, as long as it's done constructively. Let other readers know what you enjoyed about the writing style and the story line, but be sure not to include any spoilers.
3) Word of mouth
Have you ever read ____ by ____? So many of my conversations start this way. A recommendation can grow exponentially.
4) Share on social media
Social media is the way I find out about most of the books I read. If you're active on sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, a personal blog, etc., then share a link to the book with your friends and followers.
If you have a Facebook account, invite others to join the author's group and/or page. This is where authors keep their readers in the loop on upcoming books, contests, giveaways, or other important information.